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Radiotherapy

Volume 301: debated on Wednesday 26 November 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) how many women have been diagnosed as suffering injury or other adverse effects as a result of radiotherapy for breast cancer in each year since 1970; [17405](2) how many women have received radiotherapy treatment for breast cancer in each year since 1970; [17404](3) what information his Department collates centrally from regional radiotherapy centres. [17406]

The most recent central information on numbers of radiotherapy exposures is for the financial year 1992–93 but this did not record the site of the cancer treated. Since then information has not been collected from radiotherapy departments. The number of women receiving radiotherapy for breast cancer includes women who receive it as part of the primary treatment to the breast and surrounding areas and those who receive it for treatment of recurrent breast cancer in the breast or other parts of the body, particularly the bones. In 1992 in England (latest year for which Office for National Statistic figures are available) 30,000 women were diagnosed with breast cancer and it is estimated that around half of these would have received radiotherapy as part of primary treatment. Statistics are not routinely collected on the adverse effects of treatments in any medical discipline although this is done in clinical trials.